6/8/2014 2:30 P.M. ET
Zimmer's stories stick with Ruggiano
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Former Cubs manager and player Don Zimmer passed away last Wednesday, but his stories will live forever. Justin Ruggiano heard a few when he played for Tampa Bay from 2007-11.
"He must have had thousands of stories," said Ruggiano, who recalls Zimmer being in the lunchroom every day before games. "It was hard to get up and go to work because you'd want to sit there and listen and get so engaged.
"He would engage with everybody and anybody. He didn't care if you were a rookie or a 10-year vet. Even when I came to the game, he'd give you little tidbits."
Zimmer passed on more than how to deal with a pitcher or defend against a certain hitter.
"I remember one time his wife talked to my wife in the stands about marriage and baseball," Ruggiano said. "I asked Zim, I said, 'You've been in the game for 60 something years. How do you do it, being married? How does you wife do it?'
"He said, 'Make sure your family goes everywhere you go and you'll be fine.' That was one thing I held on to."
Starlin proactive in keeping 'feeling' at plate
CHICAGO -- When Starlin Castro loses that "feeling" at the plate, he goes to Cubs hitting coach Bill Mueller and asks for some extra time on the field.
On Friday, Castro went 0-for-5 and didn't feel good. He watched some video, then asked Mueller if he could work on the field before Saturday's game. Castro responded with two doubles in four at-bats.
"I don't care if I go 0-for-4, 0-for-5, I want to keep my feeling," Castro said. "That's the only thing I try to do now is don't lose my feeling -- I try to feel good every time."
Cubs manager Rick Renteria was happy to see Castro be proactive.
"A player doesn't want to go out and fail," Renteria said. "They want to perform. They don't like being booed or looked upon that they've failed in a task.
"That's part of his growth and part of him growing up. I would say he's been proactive his whole career. But you have to know how to be proactive and know what to look for. As instructors, we need to know what to ask of the players."
Castro has bounced back from a disappointing 2013 season, batting .270 this season entering Sunday.
"It helps me," Castro said of the extra sessions. "I don't worry about anything. I don't worry about the pitcher. If he gets me, OK. I'll get you tomorrow. I want to stay with that feeling all year."
Rosscup eager to see Manny with Triple-A Iowa
CHICAGO -- Manny Ramirez was expected to join the Cubs' Triple-A Iowa team soon, and reliever Zac Rosscup got a chance to meet the slugger during his rehab in Mesa, Ariz.
"You see him and you're like, 'Oh my gosh, that's Manny Ramirez,'" Rosscup told The Des Moines Register. "But he's a normal guy."
A career .312 hitter, Ramirez hit 555 home runs but was suspended twice for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy. The Cubs have hired him as a player-coach for the Triple-A team.
Rosscup told The Register he was eager to see the outfielder.
"He's a great dude," Rosscup said. "I'm excited to see him play."
• Emilio Bonifacio's home run on Saturday was his first in 412 at-bats, which ended the longest active streak in the Majors for a position player. His last homer was July 30, 2013.
According to Elias, Tony Gwynn Jr. is next with 389 at-bats and Cubs catcher John Baker is third at 382 at-bats.
"I just found that out today," Bonifacio said Sunday of his streak. "It didn't feel that long."
• The Cubs are continuing to be conservative in regards to Jorge Soler's rehab from a hamstring injury. Soler, who has seven at-bats at Double-A Tennessee this year, was rehabbing at the Cubs' complex in Mesa, Ariz.
"He is on the field, he's taking [batting practice], he's seeing a lot of pitches," said Jason McLeod, director of player development and scouting. "We're just really getting him nutrition, hydration, making sure he's properly hydrated. So that one might be a little while."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.